October 23, 2018
For sign 7 of DC Network Transformation, we are picking a popular public cloud construct whose impact can be monumental when broadly deployed in mainstream data centers: Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) On-Prem.  VPC, despite its compute-centric name, is actually a new unit of networking in AWS and Google public clouds; in Azure, it is called VNet. VPCs/VNets are logical networks and enable cloud... Read more
October 22, 2018
Network analysis, telemetry and visualization are critical in any DC network transformation project for rapidly identifying application performance/connectivity issues, for capacity planning as well as for predictive network behaviors. Hence, we chose Network Analytics for the 6th Sign that DC networks are transforming.Why traditional box-based networks lack analytics?In box-by-box networking, a... Read more
October 21, 2018
Network security (who can talk to whom) is a fundamental construct of any data center network deployment. Hence, we have selected Controller-based ACL as the 5th sign of DC network transformation.  What are the typical challenges with traditional box-based ACLs?A traditional box-based network provides access controls, via ACLs and VLAN/subnet-based policies, but they were hardwired to the port or... Read more
October 20, 2018
DC operators have been overwhelmed with network complexity during the last 20 years, and hence our sign no. 4 focuses on Network Automation. Because traditional DC networks operated on a box-by-box basis, these networking tasks needed to be performed with great care and skilled personnel, hence causing a lot of delays. Also, the fact that the network is the lifeline of applications, it’s critical... Read more
October 19, 2018
On to Sign 3 – Software Controls. Traditional box-by-box networking has often been mocked as “hardware-defined” or “hardware controlled.” Cloud Giants figured out a decade ago that software controls are critical to make the underlying hardware networking infrastructure logically centralized. According to the Google design principle: Logically centralize.. with a hierarchical control plane...... Read more
October 18, 2018
The 2nd concrete sign of DC network transformation is deployment topology that leverages core & pod design principles. A pod is a self-contained unit of compute, network and storage; in our context, a “pod” is used interchangeably with a “pod network.” Most traditional network designs have been based on a 20-year architectural premise, based on a N-tier hierarchical topology (see diagram... Read more
October 17, 2018
 In my view, there are 7 concrete signs that confirm data center network transformation is well underway (see: Is Data Center Network Transformation Real?). Each of these signs are based on innovations by Cloud Giants that are being adopted by mainstream data center organizations (enterprises and service providers). The first concrete sign is open networking (or disaggregated) switch hardware.... Read more
October 16, 2018
Data center network transformation has been a topic of on-going debate since James Hamilton’s infamous talk, Data Center Networks Are In My Way in 2009. Certainly, Cloud Giants – not traditional box-based networking vendors – have lead the way in network innovations for the past decade. But are there specific signs that mainstream IT organizations – enterprises and service providers – are also... Read more
May 25, 2018
Network automation (specifically within the data center), is one of the most marketed, yet least realized of the product feature promises made by networking vendors. Networking vendors market automation due to the growing negativity associated with the manual configuration required of traditional networks, and the unique skill sets required to configure and operate data center networks.... Read more
May 09, 2018
Network visibility and insight have never been more important. As security threats continue to increase, ensuring application performance meets the needs of the business is critical. With this challenge in mind, have Network Packet Brokers (NPBs) kept up?For the most part, NPBs do the same thing today as they did when they first hit the market. Packet feeds via TAPs and SPANs from the production... Read more